By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – A Utah woman unwittingly started a grassroots campaign when an e-mail she sent to her five children and a handful of friends urging a day of prayer and fasting for Mitt Romney started making the Mormon rounds.
Mona Williams, a Price, Utah, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote last Sunday evening to tell people closest to her how frustrated she is with the state of the country.
“A lot of my frustration is because I feel I don’t know what to do to really make a change. Well, this time I do,” she wrote. “I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney. That he will be blessed in the debates,” the first of which is next Wednesday.
“I know that seems like such a small thing, but I believe ‘from small things, great things can come about,’” she continued. “I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles.”
The message that was intended for a group of about 10 people has since cropped up in Mormon inboxes around the country, including in Colorado, California and Nevada, BuzzFeed reported.
The attention that has followed has left Williams both floored and uncomfortable. When she was contacted by CNN affiliate KTVX on Wednesday, she said, “You could have pushed me over with a feather.”
“Can we just pretend this didn’t happen,” she asked with a laugh when CNN reached her Thursday night. She spoke to fears about those who dismiss people of faith, or take what she and others consider sacred and make it ugly.
“I’m simply a woman with faith,” she told CNN. “I am just a woman who believes that God loves this country and his hand is in whatever happens.”
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It's common for faithful Mormons to fast for a day each month while offering prayers for a particular purpose.
And for Williams, who works as an aide to special needs kids, it’s prayers – not money – that she has to give to her candidate of choice.
But she also sees that she has struck a chord with those who are like her.
“We’re very silent. We’re not very in your face. I’m not going to go stand up and march … And I’m not going to chew on someone’s backside,” Williams said. “But I can use my faith. It’s a very personal, passionate thing.”
The e-mail was not sanctioned or cleared by Mormon church officials. In fact, the church “is strictly politically neutral and does not endorse political candidates,” LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy told CNN in a written statement.
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The Student Review, a student-run paper at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University posted Williams' message – or at least a version of her message that was forwarded - online, and the responses reveal a community rich with a variety of perspectives.
“I cannot tell you how scared I am for the future of our country,” wrote an unnamed student who is heading toward graduation. “What I do know is that Mitt Romney is a worthy priesthood-holding leader who has the potential to do a lot of good for our country. I know the Lord takes worthy men and makes them qualified for miraculous experiences.”
While another student answered that Romney’s name should be added to the “Temple Prayer List,” others fired back, calling such rhetoric “completely ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”
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“You assume that if we fast then God will bless Mitt Romney to win,” wrote Ryan. “Who are you to say that it’s God’s will that Mitt Romney wins? I’ve been an active member my entire life and I can’t support Mitt Romney with a good conscience. Just because he is a member of our church does not mean all of his policies are correct or even moral.”
Added Jay: “The Lord DOES care about who leads our country, He just doesn’t care what party they are from. Only we look at party, whereas the Lord looks on the heart.”
It's precisely with her heart that Williams will fast and pray this Sunday, because that, she said, is what she can do.
"Whatever happens in this country," she says, "at least I've done my part."
I try not to be hateful, but when I see mormons approaching my yard I spray them with the hose and tell them to "shoo"
He isn't a bishop. That was years ago. Being a bishop in the LDS church is not a lifetime calling.
Praying for evil and greed to triumph over good and justice. Amazing. My name is Satan and I'm a Mormon.
Get thee hence!
You poor things haven't you been hearing about the real Romney, the greedy, the dishonest, the heartless man that supports the rich and doesn't care about the middle or the lower class. The people in Freeport, Ill who are losing their jobs because Bain is closing down the company to send jobs to China don't think that praying will do much for our country if Romney wins. Don't these people know that they are praying for the evil man. He sure has you fooled, you poor Mormons.
Why is it that the Republicans think that all Democrats are without religion? I don't understand your way of thinking. The good book tells us that we should not judge. You all judge when a woman decides what she should do about an unwanted pregancy. You want all women who get with child to have that baby regardless the situation BUT the GOP will refuse to help you feed it. No Food Stamps. The Bible teaches that we should help take care of those less fortunate than our selves. I am a Christian and so are most of my family. They believe in and obey God's teachings but they agree to let you take care of your business and they will do the same
Rational Lib: Um his plan has already worked. The stock market never crashed, from the 8,400 points it had dropped to from the Bush years. The country did not go into a deep depression, like many had claimed. So I am lost about your comment, then again you are Libertarian, even Rethuglicans, ( as low as they are) think you guys are out of the loop.
I hope they all "fast' forever, until death from starvation, (something Romney would be just fine with for many of the poor in this country.) They will probably only pretend to fast, but still eat. Mormons believe in "Lying for the Lord" Seriously, google it. Google "The White Horse Prophecy" as well. Romney ISN"T christian and neither is voting for him.
Why are they praying for a guy with no moral core who, when he isn't contradicting himself, easily lies about his adversary? This is a good Mormon?
Is that message from the "Gold Tablets"? Frauds!!
Of course the LDS church would not sanction the email. Doing so could jeopardize their tax exempt status. The same would be true of any church. The idea of praying for your candidate isn't so controversial. I don't believe you should ever pray for bad things to happen to anyone.
I pray for our current leaders to have wisdom in leading our country. I pray for their safety and that of their families. I pray for our military men and women deployed in harm's way. I pray the both sides of congress would stop their bickering and start working together. I also pray for the candidate of my choice because I believe his policies are best for our people and country.
No, it was not sanctioned by the church. (A) it was not a statement issued by a general leader of the church; and (B) the church does NOT endorse political candidates.
I am constantly amazed at how many people think that because one Mormon does something, every other Mormon around the world automatically condones it, agrees with it, or is personally responsible for that one person's actions.
Not surprised by the narrow-minded and ignorant comments I have seen here. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised. If you do not want people mocking your beliefs or your expressions of emotion, don't mock those of others.
Honestly, people, where is the civility? Where is the class?
They're praying for a candidate who lies every day; evidences no core beliefs; has given no reason for us to vote for him other than it's allegedly "his time." I have to wonder about members of a religion that would pray for the success of such a candidate.
The Mormon church makes specific factual representations which are demonstrably false. If that is news, please spend some time looking into it. It is frankly insane that it remains a powerful religion. It was founded by a con man. It is the new Flat Earth Society. Making fun of the poor souls who are currently in the church, I agree is wrong. But pointing out that it is a manifestly false religion is not. And I know all the secret handsakes to get into Heaven ( ;
Ryan's answer says it all!
Romney is a much bigger evil than Obama. Why do people of faith ask God to bless evil? They should pray to God to rid Mother America of all political evil that is threatening to divide this otherwise great nation of ours.
Obama has done more to divide our nation than any past president. The middle class is evaporating while Obama cheerfully leads the whole nation over fiscal cliff that could do irreparable damage. The only question in my mind is whether he is doing this intentionally or out of ignorance regarding how economies work.
It's such a cute cult.
The Mormons can pray all they desire for Romney. Doesn't bother me in the least ~ if they want to support Romney through prayer, more power to them. Still America the last time I checked and people should be able to support which ever person they feel is the best ~ and show their support any way they feel best (within the law of course). I get so tired of people going off on the deep end because someone doesn't support the same person they do. It's just insane! JMHO.
Live up to your screen name. That one person sent out the email. What she sent is not representative of the thinking of all of the 14,000,000+ other Mormons.
What a bunch of freaks.
Maybe it can be followed-up with an email calling for a day of Voodoo in support of Romney's economic plan.
It would take a lot more than Voodoo to make Obama's economic plan work.
*virtual fist bump to Rational Libertarian*
Now only Fauxnews liars can also fast for Romney it will help change the polls.
Yeah, those polls sampling a majority of registered Democrats are so reliable...
Your response? Arrogant and self-righteous drivel. Live your beliefs well and allow everyone else the same privilege, mmkay?
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